Yesterday, the National Labor Relations Board’s Acting General Counsel, Anne Purcell released a report detailing the outcome of investigations into 14 cases involving the use of social media and employers’ social media policies.
The report provides useful guidelines for practitioners and human resource professionals in dealing with employee use of social media as well as drafting social media policies for employee handbooks.
Each case was submitted by regional offices to the NLRB’s Division of Advice in Washington, DC. In four cases involving employees’ use of Facebook, the Division found that the employees were engaged in “protected concerted activity” because they were discussing terms and conditions of employment with fellow employees. In five other cases involving Facebook or Twitter posts, the Division found that the activity was not protected.
In one case, it was determined that a union engaged in unlawful coercive conduct when it videotaped interviews with employees at a nonunion jobsite about their immigration status and posted an edited version on YouTube and the Local Union’s Facebook page.
In five cases, some provisions of employers’ social media policies were found to be unlawfully overly-broad. A final case involved an employer’s lawful policy restricting its employees’ contact with the media.
Join us this fall, as a representative from the NLRB will be speaking on this issue at the HR & Employer Compliance Summit 15-17, 2011 in San Diego, CA.